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Top 4 Above-Ground Pool Skimmers To Spend More Time Swimming, Not Cleaning!

The above-ground pool skimmer is one of the most essential tools you can use to maintain a clean pool. So we did some research to present you the best price/value skimmers for your pool to be self-maintained!

Are you looking for a solution for your pool to stay sparkling and free of debris? Look no further! Our above-ground pool skimmers selection is designed to help you choose the right device to keep your pool clean and attractive. In addition, we’ll provide you with installation and replacement tips to ensure you get all the necessary information in one guide. You might be surprised, but not only do such skimmers offer great value for money, they are also effortless to set up and maintain! 

These “helpers” are perfect for swimming pools of all sizes, providing years of reliable use, with very little maintenance required. Whether you’re swimming with friends and family or just lounging around, these above-ground pool skimmers ensure an enjoyable and safe experience. 

Comparison Table

We have spent dozens of hours looking for the best above-ground skimmer for you. The first step of our research was based on finding the top 10 highest-rated products. After generating the list of the high-demand skimmers, we started analyzing the reviews for each product (more than 200 reviews were checked). This strategy gave us a picture of all possible ups and downs, so we could present you with a much more detailed and informative comparison.

Note: When choosing an automatic above-ground pool skimmer, you have to pay attention to specific details like compatibility with different pool models and pumps.

Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim

Winner in the category
The best build and materials quality

Key benefits
Almost 0% of the leaks probability

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Waterway Plastics Flo-Pro II

Winner in the category
The best pool compatibility

Key benefits
Wide mouth = more debris to be collected

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Bestway Flowclear

Winner in the category
The least maintenance required

Key benefits
The easiest installation

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Intex Deluxe 28000E

Winner in the category
The most powerful suction

Key benefits
Its design allows fitting any kind of above-ground pool

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What Is a Skimmer for the Above-ground Pool?

A skimmer for the above-ground pool is a device used to remove leaves, insects, and other debris from the pool’s surface. It is usually mounted on the pool’s sides (but some models have to be built into the side of the pool) and connected to a pump and filter system. The skimmer is an essential part of a pool’s filtration system, as it removes dirt that would otherwise collect at the bottom of the pool and become difficult to remove.

How Does An Automatic Pool Skimmer Work?

An automatic pool skimmer works by drawing water from the pool’s surface and through a filter to remove dirt and debris. The filter returns the clean water to the pool, while the debris is collected in a basket. It needs to be emptied periodically to prevent it from becoming clogged.

Automatic pool skimmers are more efficient than manual pool skimmers, as they can detect and grab debris much more quickly and accurately. They are also easier to maintain and operate, requiring little to no manual intervention. Automatic above-ground pool skimmers can help to keep pools clean and debris-free, allowing for a better swimming experience for pool owners.

Does An Above-Ground Pool Need A Skimmer?

Absolutely! Using a pool skimmer can ensure that your pool remains free from debris, allowing for a much more pleasant swimming experience for you and your family or guests. Pool skimmers also help to prevent the buildup of debris at the bottom of the pool, which can be difficult to remove.

Benefits Of Using an Above-Ground Pool Skimmer

Having an above-ground pool skimmer has several advantages. As mentioned before, the skimmer protects your pool from water pollutants, making relaxing and taking a dip more enjoyable. Plus, using a skimmer can help reduce the maintenance required for a pool, as the accumulated debris will be removed before it can sink to the bottom. So, why doubt? It’s a win-win!

Do you want your water to be even clearer for a longer period? Above-ground pool skimmers can show a much better result with pool clarifiers.
Above-ground pool skimmer

Differences Between Automatic Above-Ground Pool Skimmers

There are two main types of pool skimmers: thru-wall and wall-mounted skimmers. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand their differences before deciding which one is best for you. So let’s look at our table to make it easier for you to compare. 

InstallationA hole in the wall and a bit of mastery are neededJust attach it to the side of your pool with a bracket
DesignThe main details of a design are a basket and a mouth because they have to grab a lot of water to collect all the debris. Also, the general build of the skimmer should be holistic (to make the installation easy and prevent possible leaks)The design is pretty simple and practical, but you have to pay attention to the bracket (it depends on compatibility with your pool)
EfficiencySuch models have larger baskets and bigger mouths that collect as much debris as possiblePerfect for smaller pools up to 7000 gallons (especially if you don’t have sources of big debris)
Price Range$40+$20 to $30

Verdict: Thru-wall skimmers are more efficient at collecting debris in bigger pools, while wall-mounted skimmers can be easier to install and replace if necessary. 

A Detailed Review Of Each Model

Thru-Wall Skimmers

Waterway Plastics Flo-Pro II

Waterway Plastics Flo-Pro II

The Best Pool Compatibility


  • Waterway Plastics Flo-Pro II takes the most debris due to its wide mouth;
  • The highest level of compatibility with pools;
  • You can make both long or short throat depending on your needs or pool (which is not possible with Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim);
  • Multiple (top and front) basket accesses.


  • The inner basket doesn’t stay seated (you may need an additional basket weight);
  • The installation will need some skillfulness.

Waterway Plastics Flo-Pro II skimmer gets its reputation due to compatibility with almost every pool. To install it, you will need to make a hole (as with a Hayward Above-Ground Pool Skimmer), which can seem a little complicated, but after completing this stage, you can enjoy your pool rest for a way a long time. 

As the Waterway Plastics skimmer has a wide mouth (which is a competitive advantage over Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim), it makes sense to ask you: “Did you hear a “mouth + basket formula”? Let me tell you: “wide mouth + big basket = Waterway Plastics Flo-Pro II grabs as much debris as possible!”.

Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim

Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim

The Best Build and Materials Quality


  •  Rugged ABS materials make this skimmer last for years;
  • Match the majority of pools;
  • The large basket will be a magnet for debris;
  • Multiple (top and front) basket accesses.


  • You will need to make a hole in your pool (so it may be tricky to install);
  • The price may seem too high in comparison to other models.

Hayward is proving its products’ quality for years. So SP1091LX Dyna-Skim is a confirmation of this. This model is built with sturdy ABS materials, making it a long-term purchase. Moreover, the practical design helps you to prevent any leaks. With the buyer in mind, Hayward made both top and front basket access for these models (as Waterway Plastics Flo-Pro II model has this feature too), which makes emptying a competitive advantage. 

Also, a little mastery of your hands will be needed as you have to make a hole in your pool to set this Hayward above-ground pool skimmer up. But anyway, this skimmer will let you spend more time enjoying your pool than taking care of it.

Do you find simply swimming in your pool a bit boring? Floating pool chairs can be the greatest option for your new-level experience.

Wall-Mounted Skimmers

Intex Deluxe 28000E

Intex Deluxe 28000E

The Most Powerful Suction


  •  The most practical design (allows fitting 32% more pool models than Bestway Flowclear thanks to its ability to suit metal frame pools);
  • For a reasonable price you receive a solid plastic build skimmer;
  • The setting up and maintenance processes won’t take much effort.


  •  An Intex filter pump with a minimum flow rate of 800 gph (3,028 L/hr) is required;
  • May not collect large debris.

While looking for a skimmer, Intex Deluxe 28000E is probably the first you will see. And there are some reasons for that. Firstly, this skimmer is a very affordable helper for keeping your pool clean. In addition, if you have any doubts you can be sure about its design because it fits (like a Bestway Flowclear one) many popular Easy Set or metal frame pools, especially Intex ones. 

Your pump together with this skimmer creates great suction (which is 12% more powerful in comparison to Bestway Flowclear) that offers prime filtration. Accordingly, there won’t be any problems with setting it up. The basket is simple to remove and empty, which makes the skimmer easy to take care of.

Bestway Flowclear Skimmer

Bestway Flowclear Skimmer

The Least Maintenance Required


  •  Filter basket is the easiest to remove and empty;
  • The simplest and fastest installation;
  • The price is a bit higher than Intex Deluxe 28000E, but the materials are 19% more robust.


  • Not compatible with steel wall pools (unlike Intex Deluxe 28000E);
  • Filter pump with a flow rate of 530 gal./h (2,006 L/h) is required.

Bestway Flowclear Skimmer is another great affordable option for your above-ground pool. This skimmer creates enough suction to protect you from all the possible leaves or debris by simply attaching it to your filter pump, so you can forget about the boring pool care routine and just enjoy your rest. 

All you need to do is empty the basket when it’s full. This is an excellent option if you want to avoid all possible hassles with pool maintenance. Functional design allows this skimmer to fit almost all the popular pool models except the steel wall ones. It is sure to keep your filtration system up and running.

Above-Ground Pool Skimmer Replacement And Installation Tips For Better Experience

Above-ground pool skimmer

Replacing or installing a pool skimmer in an above-ground pool can seem intimidating. Still, it is a relatively easy task as long as you have the right tools and instructions. Here are some tips for making the process go smoothly:

  • Turn off the power to the pool pump. Before you start setting your skimmer up, make sure to turn off the power to the pool pump to ensure your safety. 
  • Mark the skimmer’s location. Once you know where to mount the skimmer, mark the location with a pencil.
  • Cut a hole in the sidewall. You can do this with a sharp razor blade or just a knife. Make sure the hole is slightly larger than the skimmer; this will provide a secure fit.
  • Install the skimmer. Place the skimmer into the cut hole, ensuring the mounting flange is flat against the sidewall of the pool and the gasket is in place. Secure the skimmer with screws or bolts.
  • Connect the plumbing from the pump and filter to the skimmer. Make sure all the connections are tight.
  • Turn on the power. Once the skimmer is in place and the plumbing is connected, turn the power back on to the pool pump and test the system.

These simple steps will help certify that your skimmer is installed correctly and efficiently. Also, this instruction will make your replacement much easier as the process is pretty similar to installation.


If you want to enjoy your pool without hassles, then a Waterway Plastics Flo-Pro II is one of the best options. Overall, above-ground pool skimmers are a great way to keep your pool clean and safe. They are also an efficient tool to remove debris from your water and prevent it from clogging up your filter.

As we described before, the benefits of using above-ground pool skimmers are numerous. The most important one is that they can save time and effort in maintaining the pool. You don’t need to worry about removing dirt, debris, or bugs from the surface repeatedly with these devices because they do it automatically.


❓ Does an Above-Ground Pool Need a Skimmer?

No doubt! Above-ground pool skimmer facilitates your pool maintenance routine. Also, it helps to circulate the water, providing more efficient filtration.

💥 How Do I Know If My Above-Ground Pool Skimmer Is Working Properly?

It is essential to monitor the water flow in your pool. If the skimmer opening is not drawing in much water, the suction will likely weaken or disappear. As a result, the water and debris will not be pulled into the skimmer and may cause your pool to become dirty and not so enjoyable to dip.

🧹 Where Is the Skimmer On an Above-Ground Pool?

The skimmer is always located on the wall or in the wall of your pool (depending on your skimmer type) slightly under the water.

🌊 Is It OK for Water To Be Above the Skimmer?

It is recommended that the water level in your pool should be slightly above the skimmer. This will ensure that all the debris on the surface of the water can be caught and removed effectively by the skimmer. But if the water is too high, it can slow or even stop catching debris.

⛲ Can I Run My Pool Without a Skimmer?

Since the skimmer helps to collect all the debris, insects, and other dirt, without it the water will be much more cloudy, so you will need to maintain it all by yourself.

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